|ST LOUIS ( WESTBROOK )|
CHICAGO CUBS ( VILLANUEVA )
|953||ST LOUIS||-110||Ov 7.5,-110||-110||Ov 7.5,-125|
|954||CHICAGO CUBS||+100||Un 7.5,-110||+100||Un 7.5,+105|
|vs Right-handed Starters||16-9||+6.6||13-12||5.2||0.264||0.316||3.8||0.260||0.312|
|Past 7 Games||6-1||+4.8||3-4||5.1||0.294||0.345||2.6||0.261||0.295|
|vs Right-handed Starters||10-14||-3.3||12-12||4.2||0.249||0.305||4.5||0.228||0.300|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1||4-3||4.6||0.256||0.328||4.0||0.208||0.288|
|4/24/2013||GARCIA(L)||@ WASHINGTON||STRASBURG(R)||4-2||W||145||7 ev||U||9||5||0||7||6||1|
|5/2/2013||WESTBROOK(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||PERALTA(R)||6-5||W||100||8.5 ev||O||12||7||1||12||13||0|
|5/3/2013||MILLER(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||LOHSE(R)||6-1||W||100||8 ov||U||15||9||0||8||6||1|
|5/4/2013||WAINWRIGHT(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||GALLARDO(R)||7-6||W||-125||7.5 un||O||10||4||0||14||8||1|
|5/5/2013||GARCIA(L)||@ MILWAUKEE||ESTRADA(R)||10-1||W||110||8.5 un||O||11||10||0||8||7||0|
|5/7/2013||LYNN(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||WOOD(L)||1-2||L||-130||7.5 un||U||7||9||0||5||4||1|
|5/8/2013||WESTBROOK(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||VILLANUEVA(R)|| |
|5/12/2013||GARCIA(L)||COLORADO||DE LA ROSA(L)|| |
|5/13/2013||LYNN(R)||NY METS||HEFNER(R)|| |
|5/14/2013||WESTBROOK(R)||NY METS||GEE(R)|| |
|5/15/2013|| ||NY METS|| || |
|4/24/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||@ CINCINNATI||LATOS(R)||0-1||L||155||7 ev||U||5||5||0||8||7||0|
|4/25/2013||JACKSON(R)||@ MIAMI||SLOWEY(R)||4-3||W||-115||7.5 un||U||6||4||0||6||9||1|
|4/26/2013||FELDMAN(R)||@ MIAMI||LEBLANC(L)||4-2||W||100||7.5 un||U||10||6||0||9||7||0|
|4/27/2013||WOOD(L)||@ MIAMI||SANABIA(R)||3-2||W||-115||7.5 un||U||8||6||0||5||5||1|
|4/28/2013||VILLANUEVA(R)||@ MIAMI||NOLASCO(R)||4-6||L||-115||7 ov||O||7||5||0||7||3||0|
|4/29/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||SAN DIEGO||RICHARD(L)||5-3||W||-160||9 un||U||10||6||1||8||11||0|
|4/30/2013||JACKSON(R)||SAN DIEGO||VOLQUEZ(R)||7-13||L||-125||10.5 ov||O||11||6||2||17||8||0|
|5/1/2013||FELDMAN(R)||SAN DIEGO||CASHNER(R)||6-2||W||+105||9 ev||U||9||9||1||3||3||1|
|5/2/2013||WOOD(L)||SAN DIEGO||STULTS(L)||2-4||L||-125||7.5 un||U||9||9||0||7||6||0|
|5/7/2013||WOOD(L)||ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)||2-1||W||+120||7.5 un||U||5||4||1||7||9||0|
|5/8/2013||VILLANUEVA(R)||ST LOUIS||WESTBROOK(R)|| |
|5/10/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||@ WASHINGTON||DETWILER(L)|| |
|5/11/2013||JACKSON(R)||@ WASHINGTON||STRASBURG(R)|| |
|5/12/2013||FELDMAN(R)||@ WASHINGTON||GONZALEZ(L)|| |
|5/15/2013|| ||COLORADO|| || |
|ST LOUIS: HITTING: Alienate and trade your talented young centerfielder for bullpen scraps and a middling, impending free-agent starter. Justify your ludicrous pitching changes by blaming crowd noise and your innocent bullpen coach'and you too could win a World Series! This was Tony La Russa baseball. But he's gone now, as is the all-world Albert Pujols. SS RAFAEL FURCAL liked his short stint in the Show Me State enough to sign up for more. OF CARLOS BELTRAN will hit second after an impressive 2011 campaign during which he produced solid numbers in pitchers' parks amidst weak lineups. 2Bs TYLER GREENE and DANIEL DESCALSO are the latest plucky 'gamer' to play infield at Busch. Resuscitated slugger 1B LANCE BERKMAN shifts to a much more suitable defensive position. OF MATT HOLLIDAY's OPS remains as strong as ever. 3B DAVID FREESE will never have to buy a drink in Missouri again after his postseason heroics. C YADIER MOLINA is a defensive whiz behind the plate and an underrated hitter. OFs ALLEN CRAIG and JON JAY are more suited to platoon roles, but Jay will be starting in center on Opening Day. |
STARTING PITCHING: His stuff isn't nearly what it used to be, and he's more than earned his reputation within the game as a towering crybaby. But on the mound, CHRIS CARPENTER remains ruthlessly effective when he's healthy. But he'll miss the first couple of months of the 2012 campaign due to shoulder problems. ADAM WAINWRIGHT should be ready to go on Opening Day, and has shown every reason to think he'll be his old brilliant self. JAIME GARCIA cannot sustain a sub-2.00 ERA for a full season. He's a mid-rotation starter, but one of the better ones in all of baseball. Did KYLE LOHSE really register a 1.17 WHIP over an entire season? Really? He just doesn't miss enough bats to keep that going. JAKE WESTBROOK stayed healthy for a full season again, which is a relief given his past dalliances with the DL. He's an innings eater who's capable of another dozen wins. LANCE LYNN gives the Cardinals enviable depth in the rotation. He'll probably slide back to the bullpen once Carpenter returns. Uber-prospect SHELBY MILLER could be a second-half call-up.
RELIEF PITCHING: It doesn't look pretty when JASON MOTTE winds up and delivers a pitch, but in the end, results are results. The converted catcher has finally nailed down the closer role that many predicted would be his a few years ago. The only way he loses it this time is if he hurts himself with that painful delivery. FERNANDO SALAS can more than hold his own if that happens. He'll slot into the eighth-inning role, but he provides more of the pitching depth that is a hallmark of this Cardinals team. KYLE McCLELLAN, like Lynn, is serviceable both in relief or in the rotation. But he's better in the former role.
|CHICAGO CUBS: HITTING: 'Under New Management' is the motto in Wrigleyville, where Epstein, Hoyer, Sveum and Co. aim to turn SS STARLIN CASTRO and a bunch of straw into gold. OF DAVID DeJESUS was an underrated first pick-up. But OFs ALFONSO SORIANO and MARLON BYRD are overpaid and over the hill. C GEOVANY SOTO has lost his mojo. New 3B IAN STEWART has a lousy career OPS of .737 away from Coors Field. 1B BRYAN LaHAIR is tagged as part of a 'youth movement,' but he's almost 30. The other youths'2B DARWIN BARNEY, IF JEFF BAKER, and IF BLAKE DEWITT 'are interchangeable guys with low ceilings. Fourth OF TONY CAMPANA is fast but one-dimensional. And minor-league reinforcements are scarce. OF BRETT JACKSON is solid, but blocked in the lineup. And former uber-prospect 3B JOSH VITTERS has done nothing to justify his third-overall draft status. This rebuilding process will take time. Meanwhile, somewhere in the Chicago suburbs, Jim Hendry quietly sobs into a pile of Cubs-themed stuffed animals. |
STARTING PITCHING: RYAN DEMPSTER should bounce back from an unlucky year in which there was nearly a full-run difference between his ERA and his FIP. He's no ace in good times, but he's an underrated and dependable source of innings and strikeouts. MATT GARZA didn't disappoint in his debut season on the North Side, but he was an odd acquisition to begin with: the Cubs dealt top prospects from a thin system when all signs pointed to a belly-flop of a season. He's already trade bait again. JEFF SAMARDZIJA is moving to the rotation after a strong year in the bullpen (2.97 ERA, 87 K in 88 IP), but he needs to cut down on his walks (5.1 per 9 IP). What killed TRAVIS WOOD in 2011 was uncharacteristic wildness. His walk total spiked by over 50 percent from 2010. He's better than this, though it's hard to say how much. It could be that a 40-inning jump from 2010 to 2011 aided his freefall. Subpar newcomers PAUL MAHOLM and CHRIS VOLSTAD will also compete for rotation spots. The lefty Maholm is coming off his best season in Pittsburgh (3.66 ERA, 1.29 WHIP), but was awful after the All-Star break (0-5, 5.75 ERA, .355 Opp. BA). The 6-foot-8 Volstad was 5-13 with a 4.89 ERA for the Marlins last year, but still has time to figure things out at age 25.
RELIEF PITCHING: Because of his contract and the head-scratching faith in the 'closer mentality' that still pervades even the most enlightened front offices, CARLOS MARMOL will enter the 2012 campaign with a near-ironclad grip on ninth-inning duties for the Cubs. Trading away Sean Marshall, arguably Chicago's best reliever last season, is yet another vote of confidence for Marmol. His lack of command leads to more hittable pitches (along with tons of walks), though his ceiling for strikeouts and saves is sky-high. KERRY WOOD will be the main set-up man again after a triumphant return to Chicago last season (3.35 ERA, 57 K in 51 IP).
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (ST LOUIS-CHICAGO CUBS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Cardinals-Cubs Preview* ========================
By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer
St. Louis (20-11) at Chicago (12-20), 2:20 p.m. EDT
Jake Westbrook owns the lowest ERA in baseball, but a visit to Wrigley Field could put that in jeopardy.
Westbrook looks to give the St. Louis Cardinals another strong effort on the mound in order to help them salvage a split of this two-game set with the archrival Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.
The Cardinals (20-12) have the best rotation in baseball with a 2.22 ERA, and Westbrook (2-1, 1.07 ERA) is a big reason for that.
The right-hander, however, is 2-1 with a 6.14 ERA while allowing the Cubs to hit .305 over three starts at Wrigley. Overall, he's 5-2 with a 4.14 ERA in eight starts and won the most recent matchup on July 21, when he yielded three hits in seven innings of a 12-0 home victory.
Westbrook enters this matchup after yielding one run in 12 innings over his last two starts, earning a 6-5 win in the latest one at Milwaukee on Thursday. That marked the sinkerballer's 100th career victory.
"One of the luxuries I have is that my ball still moves," the 13-year veteran told the team's official website. "Lot of times, whether it goes where I want it to or not, it still runs down in the zone. It still can be good, and I can have some success."
The Cubs (13-20) may be at the bottom of the NL Central, but they've won four of six at home against the Cardinals. They beat them again Tuesday, when Nate Schierholtz's two-run homer in the fourth provided the difference in a 2-1 victory.
"Any time we come in here, it's tough," manager Mike Matheny said. "This team plays us tough any time we come into Wrigley."
Chicago is trying for a third straight win at home for the first time since July 28-30, a stretch that included two wins over St. Louis.
Alfonso Soriano, who had two hits and a run Tuesday, has hit the Cardinals hard of late with a .327 average in 14 meetings. Much of that damage has come in nine home games, during which he's batting .389 (14 for 36) with seven extra-base hits.
Soriano, though, is 3 for 30 versus Westbrook, who has held the current Cubs roster to .218 at the plate.
Carlos Villanueva (1-2, 2.85) is slated to get the ball in an effort to avoid losing three straight starts for the first time in his eight-year career.
He'll try to draw some inspiration from Travis Wood's impressive performance Tuesday after he yielded one run with eight strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings to outpitch Lance Lynn.
Villanueva has lost back-to-back-outings, surrendering eight runs with 12 strikeouts in 11 2-3 innings.
"In my last two starts, I'm one pitch away from two quality outings," Villanueva said. "You know, the good part is I'm close to where I want to be. I'm just not putting that guy away when I need to."
The right-hander is 2-0 with a 4.00 ERA in his last three starts against the Cardinals, but he hasn't faced them since June 25, 2011.
He's held Yadier Molina to 3 for 18, but the Cardinals catcher is hitting .452 over his last eight games. He had two hits Tuesday, but killed a potential rally in the eighth by being picked off between second and third.
Matt Holiday has homered on two of his three hits in 10 at-bats versus Villanueva, but he's 3 for 20 over the last six games at Wrigley.
|Last Updated: 9/1/2014 6:01:32 PM EST|